It can be intensely difficult to find movie titles that not only don’t scare the heck out of your preschooler, but that also don’t bore you senseless when you snuggle up for movie night.
We’ve done some thorough research and come up with a list of non-scary and entertaining flicks for your 3-year-old (or thereabouts) kiddo.
THAT SAID, this post does come with a caveat: Small children respond to things differently, so know that a movie that is beloved by one may seem boring or challenging to another.
It’s always best to watch these films alongside your child, at least on the first viewing, so you can talk them through the bits they have questions or complex feelings about.
Mary Poppins (1964)
This family classic is a musical delight and is pretty much devoid of scary bits! It’s a heartwarming, whimsical, funny romp and definitely family-tradition-worthy viewing. Carousels, flying ladies, penguins, oh my!
The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh (1977)
The AA Milne classic is reimagined in animated style and it captures the spirit of the original book beautifully. Snuggle up with your little person and discover the wonders of Piglet, Eeyore and Pooh. Note that there are a few slightly tense/anxious scenes, but they are nothing a bit of chatter and hand-holding won’t sort out.
Curious George (2006)
What could be better than a naughty monkey and a yellow-hatted man?! Curious George is funny, adventurous and educational too. Even the littlest kids will enjoy this lovely story about a man and his inquisitive animal friend.
Perfect for Christmas time, or really for any time you need to slow things down and get cosy in front of a film. This beloved animation has been enjoyed for decades by parents and kids alike and follows the adventures of a little boy and his snowman pal.
The Gruffalo (2009)
This beautiful adaptation of a much-loved picture book will become a firm favourite with your family. There are a couple of imagined, tense scenes, but on the whole it’s a delight.
The Adventures of Elmo In Grouchland (1999)
Pay homage to your own childhood Sesame Street roots with this Elmo meets Oscar Muppet-y romp. These characters are enduringly beloved and this movie is full of sweet lessons about friendship, kindness and cooperation.
Stella Luna (2004)
This sweet, musical adaptation of a favourite picture book about a bat is as educational as it is entertaining, with a plot that focuses on being yourself, accepting differences and the value of family and friends.
Horton Hears A Who (2008)
This funny Dr Seuss-based film features the voices of Jim Carrey, Amy Poehler and Steve Carell (and others!) It’s a positive, entertaining tale of kindness and inclusion and a sure-fire winner in the preschool movie night stakes.
Bust out the popcorn and blankets! It’s preschool movie time!